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Greenvale hotel limited to weddings and private functions

RESTRICTIONS: Mid-Ulster Council’s environment committee last night placed sanctions on Greenvale Hotel owner Michael McElhatton

THE owner of the Greenvale Hotel last night agreed to restrict events on his premises to weddings and private functions - with no more discos for the next six months.

Michael McElhatton (52) was accompanied by his solicitor to a private meeting at the Mid-Ulster Council's Environment Committee where sanctions on his entertainment licence were discussed as a result of last month's tragedy in which three teenagers died in a crush.

PSNI representatives and members of the Fire Service also attended.

A number of options were put forward during the 90-minute closed session, including the immediate suspension of the licence for the Cookstown hotel, which is up for renewal in October.

However, a council spokeswoman confirmed that Mr Elhatton will retain the licence but that events will be severely limited to private functions, including weddings and funerals.

"The Committee has sought, and the licensee has agreed to provide health and safety risk assessments and associated documentation," she said.

"In the interim period, the hotel has proposed to restrict its entertainment activity to weddings and private functions only. The hotel will provide the Council with two months’ notice of any proposed variation of this position."

Floral tributes at the Greenvale Hotel scene Picture Mal McCann.

Sources say it is "highly unlikely" that any applications will be made by Mr Elhatton over coming months in the wake of the St Patrick's night deaths.

While it has re-opened for business, a police probe remains ongoing after it emerged the first officers at the scene initially withdrew support.

Mr McElhatton and another man were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in connection with the teenagers' deaths and were later released pending further investigation.

The council spokeswoman added that it has "agreed to defer considerations until October" but stressed that that the Environment Committee, "reserves the right to review the entertainment licence at any stage prior to renewal".

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